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Drug interactions that compromise or affect gut health.

Father holding an infant in a brightly lit room. Text says "Antibiotics For Babies: Proceed with Caution"

Antibiotics For Babies: Proceed With Caution

Early Antibiotics May Harm Your Baby’s Gut

When we discuss the overuse of antibiotics, it’s usually focused on adults who rely on them too often to treat health problems that would be resolved in time on their own.

This over-reliance can often mean these one-time “miracle drugs” may not work when they’re truly necessary, and create openings for more health problems down the road.

Few of us expect babies to be exposed to antibiotics so early, but we recently learned how often they’re prescribed — even once — for little ones under age 2 may increase the possibility of food allergies, obesity and many more health challenges.

What’s more, little good happens when infants are treated with antibiotics during their first week of life, according to a recent report in Nature Communications.

 

Too Much Exposure To Antibiotics

Experts estimate as many as 10 percent of all newborns are prescribed an antibiotic and that doctors justify them based on “suspected” infections.

This overprescribing is justified by some doctors to prevent a problem they suspect could happen and get serious in a hurry, although a small number of babies ultimately experience an infection.

With those facts in mind, a team of researchers from the UK and The Netherlands conducted a clinical trial involving 227 babies to observe how antibiotics would affect their tiny microbiomes.

Nearly 150 babies with “suspected” sepsis were treated by one of three antibiotics, with the remainder were part of a control group who received no antibiotics. All babies had fecal or rectal samples taken before and after treatments at 1, 4 and 12 months of age.

Among the infants who were prescribed an antibiotic, the harmful effects were obvious.

  • Babies experienced significant decreases in various species of Bifidobacterium, microbes that help them better digest breast milk and support their good gut health.
  • Scientists observed a change in more than 250 strains of bacteria in the guts of babies, flipping the balance in favor of more unhealthy harmful microbes.
  • Those microbial changes lasted at least 12 months and did not improve with breastfeeding.
  • Among the antibiotics prescribed, the combination of penicillin and gentamicin was the least detrimental on a newborn’s microbiome.

The start of antibiotic treatment, not its duration, appears to be trigger for gut health problems, says researcher Dr. Marlies van Houten, a pediatrician at the Spaarne Hospital in The Netherlands.

 

A Probiotic In Your Baby’s Future?

The evidence is clear that antibiotics are prescribed way too often, and breastfeeding may not restore the developing microbiomes of infants, so what are your options?

Should an antibiotic be necessary, we recommend talking to your pediatrician about giving your baby a probiotic with multiple species of beneficial bacteria that can boost the critical balance of bugs in their tiny microbiomes.

If you’re looking for a probiotic with the right made for your baby, consider EndoMune Jr. Powder formulated with 10 billion CFUs of beneficial bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families plus a prebiotic that feeds their developing microbiome.

Just a half-teaspoon of EndoMune Jr. sprinkled in your baby’s formula or added to soft foods (when your baby is ready for them) once a day can make a gut-healthy difference!

 

Resources

Nature Communications

University of Edinburgh

Medscape

Graphic of large intestine next to a pharmaceutical prescription bottle. Text reads "Antibiotics: Rising Colon Cancer Risks Among Young People

Antibiotics And The Risk Of Colon Cancer

Antibiotics: Rising Colon Cancer Risks Among Young People

For a very long time, health professionals and patients believed colon cancer — the third most common cancer among Americans — was a major health challenge mainly for older folks.

That perception changed for good recently, when the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommended lowering initial screenings for colon cancer to age 45.

That was a huge wake-up call, but a very necessary one given the steady increase in younger colon cancer cases and lower screening rates among that age group.

That uptick also reflects data collected by the American Cancer Society that found patients born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer compared to people born in 1950.

All of this underscores the fact that colon cancer is a multi-faceted problem, including several risk factors (poor diets and sedentary lifestyles) well within our control.

We can now add antibiotics to the growing list of concerns based a pair of recent reports from the UK and Sweden.

 

More Antibiotics, More Colon Cancer Reports

Most of you are very well aware of the disruptive nature of antibiotics, and not just to the balance of bacteria in your gut.

Antibiotics have been prescribed so often for health problems, including viral conditions like the flu and common colds that they’re not equipped to treat, they don’t work when we really need them.

Based on two large analyses of patients in Scotland and Sweden, this very liberal use of antibiotics may increase one’s colon cancer risks too.

In the Swedish analysis that studied the health of 40,000 patients from the Swedish Colorectal Cancer Registry from 2010-16 to 200,000 cancer-free patients, antibiotics increased the risk of colon cancer by 17 percent.

What’s more, Swedish scientists believe the disruptive impact of antibiotics on the microbiome is the probable trigger for this increase in colon cancer patients.

The Scottish review of 8,000 colon cancer patients that compared to an equal number of healthy folks found a similar increase in colon cancer rates across all age groups, with one more very alarming trend.

The risk of colon cancer among patients under age 50 was elevated by nearly 50 percent, compared to 9 percent in the above age 50 group. What’s more, very common quinolone (like Cipro) and sulfonamide (like Bactrim) antibiotics were associated with cancers on the right side of the colon where microbiomes reside.

So, how can colon cancer risks jump so high for younger folks apart from the overuse of antibiotics and sedentary lifestyle habits?

Experts believe the lack of routine screenings for young people from ages 20-40 account for high colon cancer rates. Moreover, fewer physicians and younger patients will connect unusual abdominal pains with colon cancer, thus those problems will be detected much later when the disease is harder to treat.

 

What You Can Do!

First, it’s important to remember that taking any antibiotics should be done wisely and cautiously. If you have any concerns about an antibiotic (or any other drug), don’t hesitate to consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

When an antibiotic is necessary, please take it as prescribed by your physician until your course is completed, not only until you’re feeling better.

Want to lessen your need for antibiotics? I urge you to review my recent Antibiotics 101 article for some very important tips that cover everything from good hand-cleaning rules to monitoring your use of prescription pain relievers.

If you want to protect the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, especially while you’re taking an antibiotic, be sure to take a probiotic about two hours afterward. (Check out our article on the basics of How to Take a Probiotic for more guidance.)

Also, there’s growing evidence we’ve shared here about the benefits of taking a probiotic in relation to treating and possibly preventing colon cancer.

Remember that any probiotic you consider should include multiple strains of beneficial bacteria to protect your gut, the center of your body’s immune system, like those found in like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

 

Resources

Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Umea University

Annals of Oncology

National Cancer Institute

WebMD

Keck Medicine of USC

European Society for Medical Oncology

 

 

 

Text: Beat Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea with Probiotics

Treat Diarrhea With Probiotics

Beat Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea With Probiotics

The impact antibiotics have on human health and our gut is one of the most important things modern medicine has learned over the past 20 years.

Antibiotics remain effective tools that treat many problems, but relying on them too often creates additional health complications.

Even when they’re used properly, antibiotics are disruptive to the healthy balance of bacteria in the human gut, spurring antibiotic-associated diarrhea, a very common problem that affects roughly 1 out of every 5 patients.

Fortunately, modern medicine has embraced the important role probiotics play in protecting the healthy balance of bacteria in the human gut, the center of our immune system.

What’s more, probiotics are a safe, effective treatment for antibiotic-associated diarrhea, according to a study recently published in the health journal Nutrients.

 

The Bifidobacterium Way

Scientists from the University of Maryland and Georgetown University examined the benefits of a proprietary blend of Bifidobacterium lactis on 42 patients who were given amoxicillin-clavulanate, a common antibiotic.

Scientists from the University of Maryland and Georgetown University assigned 38 healthy patients to eat a daily serving of yogurt containing Bifidobacterium lactis for two weeks, along with a standard, week-long regimen of the common antibiotic, amoxicillin-clavulanate.

(Bifidobacterium lactis is one of 10 strains of beneficial bacteria contained in EndoMune Advanced Probiotic and EndoMune Junior Advanced Chewable Probiotic.)

An additional 18 patients were assigned to a control group who ate the daily yogurt minus the probiotic bacteria for two weeks while also taking the antibiotic for a week.

No surprise, patients who took a probiotic had a healthier balance of bacteria in their guts than those assigned to a placebo, but how?

For one, patients assigned the placebo had significantly lesser amounts of the short-chain fatty acid acetate, a metabolite produced by gut bacteria, than those taking a probiotic. In fact, acetate levels among patients in the probiotic group more rapidly returned to normal by day 30.

Additionally, researchers cited the benefits of taking a probiotic the very same day they started their seven-day course of antibiotics.

“Starting the probiotic as early as possible, before the antibiotic symptoms have progressed, may result in a greater opportunity for the probiotic mechanisms to be expressed and may ultimately lead to more beneficial clinical outcomes,” says study co-author Dr. Daniel Merenstein of the Georgetown University School of Medicine.

 

Follow Your Antibiotic Protocol!

The results of this study were so impressive and positive, the National Institutes of Health plan to fund a follow-up study to determine the best time to take a probiotic.

Luckily, if you follow our blog regularly, you may already have an antibiotic protocol in place, so you already know what to do!

The important thing to remember: Give yourself a two-hour break between a probiotic — ideally one with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune — and an antibiotic to give those beneficial bacteria some extra time to do their work.

 

Resources

Nutrients

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Oregon State University

Mayo Clinic

Drugs.com

 

 

TEXT: Antibiotics 101 How to protect your gut health

Antibiotics 101: Protect Your Gut

Antibiotics 101: How to Protect Your Gut Health

Every so often, we like to remind you about basic health and lifestyle steps you can take that may help or harm your gut health, like the do’s and don’ts of taking an antibiotic safely.

Antibiotics were once considered “miracle” drugs that treated serious health issues and controlled the spread of disease. For example, some childhood conditions like strep throat and bacterial meningitis were fatal diseases before antibiotics.

Over time, however, antibiotic drugs transitioned from their “miracle” status to being prescribed for many more health problems, such as viral infections like colds, the flu and most coughs and many sinus infections, that do more harm than good.

An estimated 43 percent of the antibiotic prescriptions in America were issued for health problems that were completely unnecessary, based on numbers compiled in a 2019 Oregon State University report.

How did this happen?

The simple explanation: The overuse of antibiotics, plus our exposure to antibacterial chemicals in soaps, paints and even gym equipment, has over-sterilized our lives to such a degree that these drugs may promote resistance and, in some cases, do not work as they should or at all.

This could lead to infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics become much more costly (more expensive treatments, trips to the doctor) and much harder to treat.

Are you concerned about that next antibiotic prescription from your physician? We’ve got you covered.

Your antibiotic protocol

Antibiotics are valuable medications when they’re prescribed by your doctor for good reasons, not because you’ve had a persistent cold or flu and want to feel better right now.

If you’re concerned about over-exposure to antibiotics, it’s important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Do not be afraid to ask them questions!

And, if you do need to take an antibiotic, take them as prescribed by your physician until your course is completed. That’s critical because lots of people only take antibiotics until they start feeling better, then drop them.

Here are some extra steps you can take on your own to lessen the need for antibiotics:

  1. Keep your hands clean with plain soap and warm water, and ditch the antibacterial soap.
  2. Cook your foods thoroughly, and have a working food thermometer in your kitchen always at the ready.
  3. Monitor your use of prescription pain relievers, as some may worsen the problem.
  4. Stay up-to-date on your doctor-recommended vaccinations. Some vaccines will protect you and your family from bacterial infections stemming from whooping cough and diphtheria.

When you absolutely need to take an antibiotic for a health problem, please remember that it’s vital to protect your gut, the center of your body’s immune system too.

Antibiotics create problems for the gut by depleting the balance of bacteria that normally keep you healthy. If you have to take an antibiotic and want to protect the health of your gut, consider taking a probiotic, ideally with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.

EndoMune’s powerful formula of 10 beneficial strains of bacteria from the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus families and a prebiotic (that feeds the good bugs in your gut) not only protects but supports your immune health.

Taking a probiotic like EndoMune about two hours before that necessary antibiotic gives those beneficial bacteria extra time to reach your gut and protect it and your immune health when you really need it the most.

Resources

Text: How can probiotics help you

Could a Probiotic Help You?

Probiotics seem to be everywhere right now; in the cereal aisle at the grocery store, lining the supplement shelves, we’re even seeing them in the beauty and skincare section! Hearing about all the benefits of probiotics may have you wondering, “Do I need to take one?”

Defined by the ​World Health Organization​, probiotics are “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.” They are not chemicals like antibiotics, but cultures of live bacteria or yeasts that help to maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut microbiome. When your gut becomes unbalanced it can cause many health issues, such as gas, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and obesity. Probiotics have been shown to help “restore the healthy composition and function of the ​gut microbiome​” and thus, help combat many of these troublesome issues.

Think taking a probiotic supplement could benefit you? Below we’ll discuss a handful of reasons why people may be adding a probiotic supplement to their daily routine.

When you need immune system support

Do you feel like you get sick every flu or cold season? If yes, then you may need to strengthen your immune system. 70-80% of your immune system resides in your gut and the health of your microbiome directly impacts the overall health of your immune system. Probiotics are a great way to help ​support your immune system​ and protect your body against harmful viruses.

When you’re taking antibiotics

Antibiotics are used to kill disease-causing bacteria in the body. This is good, but sometimes taking an antibiotic can trigger diarrhea. That’s because these strong antibiotics can kill our good bacteria while targeting the bad bacteria resulting in an ​unbalanced microbiome​. Taking a probiotic while on antibiotics is a great way to help your body stay in balance and prevent a case of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

It’s important to remember to take your probiotic supplements at least two hours after taking your antibiotics to ensure the antibiotics do not kill the good bacteria in your probiotics!

When you’re having digestive problems (and when you’re not!)

If you constantly suffer from stomach problems such as gas, constipation, bloating, and diarrhea, your microbiome may be unbalanced. Taking a ​probiotic ​has been ​shown​ to help restore the balance of your gut microbiome and improve the functioning of your GI tract.

When you have allergies

Up to 30% of the general population suffers from one or more atopic diseases including allergies, asthma, and eczema. These are usually caused by heightened immune responses to common allergens, especially inhaled or food allergens. Probiotics have been ​shown​ to help alleviate allergic inflammation and food allergy symptoms. Another ​published study demonstrated that the probiotic strain Lactobacillus casei decreased the number of days preschool children with allergic rhinitis were sick over 12 months. If you tend to lock yourself inside during allergy season, then a probiotic may be what you need!

When you experience frequent yeast infections

If you suffer from frequent yeast infections, it could be a sign that there is a disturbance of the beneficial bacteria in your body. ​Studies ​have shown that supplementing with probiotics can improve symptoms of yeast infections and may also be able to prevent potential infections. Vaginal yeast infections are surprisingly common, as ​75% of all women ​are likely to have a yeast infection at least once in their lives. While there are many treatment options, beginning to take a probiotic supplement is one of the easiest, all-natural ways to correct the loss of good bacteria and bring your body back into balance.

Convinced yet?

It can be difficult to maintain the balance of bacteria in your microbiome when things like diet, travel, and stress can throw it off. In some circumstances, eating plenty of probiotic-rich foods may not be enough, and a probiotic supplement may be able to help keep everything in line. If you find yourself experiencing any of these health concerns consider taking a ​probiotic supplement ​to help achieve a healthy microbiome, strong immune system, and an overall healthy body.

 

 

Prescription medicine + donuts = higher IBD risks

Antibiotics + High-Fat Diet = Higher IBD Risks

Whenever we talk about antibiotics, the subject always comes around to the same health challenge…Do you rely on antibiotics to “cure” common health problems that would probably get resolved on their own? And, do you pressure your family physician into prescribing you an antibiotic you may not need?

When you rely on antibiotics too often, they may eventually stop working, especially when you need them to.

So, would you make a different decision about taking an antibiotic if doing so made you much more vulnerable to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Multiple risk factors

An international team of researchers conducted a two-part study, first analyzing fecal samples of 92 patients, including 49 suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), to measure fecal calprotectin, a biomarker for intestinal inflammation. Elevated levels of this biomarker, considered a pre-IBD biomarker, were discovered in 19 IBS patients. But that’s not the key takeaway…

Patients who had a recent history of taking antibiotics plus eating a high-fat diet regularly elevated their risks of pre-IBD problems by a factor of 9, compared to those who ate a healthier diet, and had no recent history of antibiotic use.

Considering these risks separately, a patient’s pre-IBD probabilities fell, but not as much as you’d expect, especially with the presence of antibiotics elevating pre-IBD by nearly 4 times compared to high-fat diets alone (nearly 3 times).

Scientists also discovered why antibiotics and high-fat diets create so many problems by analyzing a group of  mouse models: Their presence disrupts the work of the mitochondria in the cells that line the intestines to consume oxygen. Those disruptions may evolve into more serious problems in which healthy gut bacteria gets replaced by more harmful bacteria, leading to inflammation and possible pre-IBD symptoms.

So what can you do to stay healthy and possibly stay out of the way of IBD?

It’s all about moderation

This study really drives home a very important point: The foods you eat and the medications you take — especially antibiotics — can work for or against you. Moderation is the critical take-home message here. Eating some fat is good and important, and indulging on occasion is fine, but not all the time!

The same applies to antibiotics. If your family doctor recommends an antibiotic, be sure to ask lots of questions about how and when to take them. (Don’t skip doses or stop taking them early if you feel better.)

For all of the good antibiotics can do, they also deplete the beneficial bacteria in your gut that keeps your immune system strong. When you need to take an antibiotic and protect your gut health, be sure to take a probiotic two hours before to give those beneficial bacteria a head start.

Read our latest advisory on how to get the best out of taking a probiotic here!

When you’re looking for a probiotic, you should strongly consider one formulated with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria that provide proven results like those from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families.

And, when you’re reading product labels, be sure to look for a prebiotic, the guys that do the dirty work behind the scenes by feeding the good bacteria living in your gut. Some probiotics don’t have them!

Fortunately, our multi-strain probiotic, EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, is uniquely fortified with 10 strains of beneficial bacteria, plus a proven prebiotic (FOS) to protect your gut.

 

References

 

Protect your gut from aspirin! Probiotics to the rescue!

Protect Your Gut From Aspirin

Taking a drug for any condition, especially for the long-term, may create problems — especially for your gut — if you don’t manage it properly.

It doesn’t matter whether that drug is prescribed by your physician or one you pick it up on your own at a pharmacy either.

Although antibiotics have been a known trigger for troublesome gut-related problems, reports have emerged more recently about issues with many more drugs and even over-the-counter (OTC) medications like heartburn drugs.

Still, many patients assume OTC drugs sold without a prescription, especially pain relievers, have no short- or long-term risks associated with taking them.

Even taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like a daily aspirin at a low dose can be a problem, contributing to an increased risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding in the gut.

And, the risks can grow when you’re taking other drugs at the same time, as we shared recently in our blog post about taking an antibiotic along with an NSAID pain reliever.

Probiotics to the rescue!

Luckily, there may be a probiotic solution to this problem, according to a recent study conducted by Irish scientists.

We know that Bifidobacteria is typically found in the guts of newborns, but the amount of those species tends to decline over time.

After good results with mice, researchers turned their attention to a trial with 75 healthy human subjects who were prescribed either a large dose of aspirin (300 mg) for six weeks and Bifidobacterium breve for eight weeks or just a daily aspirin and a placebo for that same time.

(Bifidobacterium breve is one of the 10 species of beneficial bacteria contained in like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.)

During that period, scientists monitored the probiotic progress via minimally invasive video capsule endoscopy (VCE) procedures.

At the end of the study period, patients who took a probiotic scored lower for intestinal problems and ulcers compared to the placebo group.

What’s more, the use of a probiotic didn’t interfere with the main cardiovascular reasons people take a daily aspirin.

The take-home message

Taking a drug every day, no matter how beneficial it may be or benign you believe it is, comes with health risks.

Some of these issues may affect how your immune system operates naturally at its primary source — the human gut — that helps to protect you from disease.

We’re also seeing growing evidence of how beneficial bacteria from the EndoMune family may relieve some of the common problems associated with aspirin too.

Resources

Gastroenterology

University College Cork

Gut Microbiota For Health

Drugs.com

Mayo Clinic

 

 

 

bottle of EndoMune Advanced Probiotic next to a digital graphic of Omega-3 oil

Omega-3s and Probiotics Team Up For Better Health (Yours!)

For a very long time, omega-3 rich fish oil has sat alongside probiotics as an important go-to supplements patients rely on every day for their good health.

That’s a good thing. Our go-go-go lifestyles often leave little time for eating anything but highly processed meals chock full of omega-6 fatty acids and lacking in any nutritional value.

This tendency to eat on the run has gone a long way toward fueling our country’s continuing obesity epidemic that leaves you vulnerable to metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions occurring all at once that increase your risks of more serious cardiovascular problems.

A team of Swedish researchers has shared some interesting ways both omega-3s and probiotics team up for better health (yours!) in a recent report appearing in the medical journal Nutrients.

Treating inflammation

Reducing inflammation in your body is critical as we’ve learned with leaky gut. This condition, created by breakdowns in the intestinal wall, allows bacterial particles to seep into the bloodstream that stimulates inflammation and triggers health problems like metabolic syndrome.

In this Swedish review, researchers examined some of the mechanisms in which probiotics and the omega-3s in fish oil work together and on their own to promote better health.

The key reason why omega-3s and probiotics may work so well together: Both share a common pathway to work with our body’s immune system, a critical part of keeping inflammation in check.

For example, scientists describe how omega-3 fatty acids may work just like prebiotic compounds, the unsung heroes of gut health.

The EndoMune family of probiotics, from EndoMune Jr. Advanced Chewables to EndoMune Metabolic Rescue, also contains proven prebiotics that do the dirty work of feeding the good bacteria in your gut and a whole lot more.

Probiotics and omega-3s have also been connected to improvements in insulin and blood glucose levels among patients battling diabetes and pre-diabetes, part of the cluster of problems associated with metabolic syndrome.

The real benefit

The best benefit of pairing omega-3 fish oil and probiotics: It’s a safe, drug-free strategy most people can follow very easily. The real challenge, however, is choosing the best ones for your health.

When you’re looking for the best fish oil supplement, review product labels to ensure you choose one that contains the most EPA and DHA, two difference-making omega-3s. Many brands have little to none of either one.

Studying product labels is very important when selecting the best probiotic for your health too.

As you search for the right probiotic for your health, look for brands that contain multiple species of beneficial bacteria. For example, EndoMune Advanced Probiotic is carefully formulated with species from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families that support a balanced, healthy gut and protect your immune health.

Resources

Nutrients

Mayo Clinic

Healthline

 

 

 

 

Spoon filled with various pills

Could Diet Affect Your Gut’s Response to Antibiotics?

We remind you from time-to-time how harmful antibiotics can be to your overall health — not to mention your gut — if you rely on them a lot.

Taking an antibiotic — even when it’s necessary — alters the critical balance of bacteria in your gut that fuels and protects your immune system.

Did you know your diet triggers changes in your gut bacteria when you’re taking an antibiotic too?

What you eat when taking an antibiotic matters

Researchers at Brown University studied the effect of common antibiotics (amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin and doxycycline) on three sets of mice, focusing on changes in gut bacteria balance and how bacteria adapted after those treatments with food.

A couple of basic things really stood out.

For one, the amount of a specific bacteria strain (acteroides thetaiotaomia specific bacteria strain B) actually tripled in size when exposed to antibiotics, affecting the overall healthy balance of gut bacteria in mice.

This second result is interesting and goes straight to the question of eating a supportive gut-healthy diet with dietary fiber.

No surprise, the gut bacteria of mice fed dietary fiber were far less affected by their exposure to antibiotics by a factor of 10.

Once again, these results show how antibiotics alter the balance of gut health, and how the quality of your diet may protect or hurt it.

The take-home message here really is twofold.

  1. Work on increasing the dietary fiber you eat every day by eating more whole foods and fewer heavily processed foods. It doesn’t take much (1 ounce or 30 grams) to make a healthy difference.
  2. Taking a probiotic with 10 strains and 30 billion CFUs of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic every day supports and protects the balance of bacteria in your gut — the center of your body’s immune system — when you’re taking an antibiotic.

Resources

Cell Metabolism

Brown University

Mayo Clinic

 

 

 

 

 

 

woman putting a pill in her mouth

The Newest Superbug Problem: Pain Relievers

Think about the last time you were prescribed an antibiotic or pain reliever by your doctor… Did you really need it?

An estimated 43 percent of the 130 million scripts for antibiotics were inappropriately prescribed or issued for no reason, according to a recent Oregon State University report.

These unnecessary prescriptions are creating a world in which antibiotics are losing their ability to work as they should, and that’s a real health problem for all of us.

Not only does the excessive use of antibiotics harm the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, but these drugs can also leave you vulnerable to superbug infections like Clostridium difficile (C. diff) that are resistant to them.

Taking pain-relieving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may worsen that problem, according to a recent study appearing in mBio.

Are you taking this drug?

Taking any type of drugs come with some health concerns — even small ones. The real challenge is looking for ways to modify those risk factors in the presence of diseases like C. diff, says Dr. David Aronoff, a microbiologist, infectious disease expert, and the lead author of this study.

Scientists tracked the health of two groups of mice treated with antibiotics after being infected with C. diff. One group was treated with indomethacin, an NSAID used to treat severe pain caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, while the control group received no drug.

Only 20 percent of the mice exposed to the NSAID survived to the end of the study. What’s more, mice treated with the pain-relieving drug and antibiotics experienced altered gut microbiomes and worse C. diff infections, a sign their tiny immune systems were harmed.

Why you should be concerned: Indomethacin shares roughly the same biological mechanisms as far more common over-the-counter NSAIDs you may be taking more regularly, like aspirin and ibuprofen. (Taking acetaminophen in large doses isn’t safe for your gut either.)

Protect your gut

Previously, we have warned you about the effect a higher-than-you’d-expect number of non-antibiotic drugs that treat a myriad of problems with mental health, cancer, diabetes and blood pressure have on your gut bacteria.

As much as you’d like to avoid these interactions, that may not possible. You may need to take an antibiotic, one of these other drugs — or both — that may disturb the healthy balance and immune-supportive power, either for a short time or a long time.

So, what can you do?

First, be knowledgeable about those possible interactions when consulting with your doctor or your local pharmacist.

Also, taking a probiotic, ideally, one that contains multiple strains of beneficial bacteria like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic, may be your best weapon to give your body the help it needs to maintain the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, protect your immune system and prevent C. diff infections altogether.

Resources

mBio

American Society for Microbiology

MedlinePlus

WebMD

American Academy of Rheumatology

 

 

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